Digital technology: confidence up despite a persistent level of mistrust
For more than 10 years, Acsel – the Association for the Digital Economy – has been measuring how much French people trust their digital technology. This year, the Barometer survey is being released in the unprecedented context of the COVID health crisis. How has the pandemic affected the way people use this technology? What impact on their degree of trust? What are the consequences for people whose Internet connections are limited or substandard? The February 9th release of the 8th edition of this survey partnered by Groupe BPCE provides a number of answers to these questions.
An expansion in the way digital technology is used
First lesson: the health crisis has considerably boosted the adoption and use of digital technology. During the first lockdown period, digital technology emerged as an essential tool for the pursuit of everyday activities… as attested by the fact that 65% of French people said they made greater use of the Internet during this period.
What is more, the French also consider that digital technology provides support in a host of different areas: nearly 7 out of 10 respondents felt that it helped limit the impacts of the health crisis on the economy, that it enabled people to maintain social ties, to keep people better informed, and to warn the population about health risks. 77% of French people even saw digital technology as a way to simplify their everyday lives.
Trust at its highest level since 2015...
Does the acceleration in people’s use of this technology also mean they have greater confidence in it? The answer is yes: 28% of the people included in the survey said they had more confidence in their use of the Internet and – once again – in almost every area of everyday life: e-government (+3 pts), social networks (+10 pts), e-commerce (+4 pts), and online banking (+5 pts). These are encouraging figures and confirm the research carried out by different stakeholders – notably the Group – over many months and during the first lockdown period in particular.
However, while overall confidence in digital technology is at its highest level since 2015, more still remains to be done considering that 51% of French people still believe that using the Internet is fraught with risks. It is clear that the question of data protection remains a major concern for a large number of Internet users.
“With regard to security, our principal focus has been the implementation of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2). We have developed tools, such as strong authentication, that are easy for our users to understand. We have enhanced banking security without making it more complicated for our customers to use,” emphasized Frédéric Burtz, Director of Innovation at BPCE, during the presentation of the Barometer survey.